Startup of the month: PHINXT

Every month we interview a European Supply Chain Management startup to shed some light on its business, provide a platform for visibility and overall support the European Supply Chain Management startup ecosystem. This time we interviewed Yanwen Chen & Quirino Zagarese, both co-founders of PHINXT Robotics, headquartered in London. PHINXT Robotics enables warehouses of any size to deploy autonomous robots as needed, with no expertise required.

Company Base Data

Company Name: PHINXT Robotics LTD

No. of Employees: 5

Headquarter: London, United Kingdom

Funding: 610,000 GBP

Operating Markets: UK

Founders: Yanwen Chen & Quirino Zagarese


E-Mail Contact:

Company Name


No. of Employees



Hannover, Germany


>10M EUR

Operating Markets

Coming from the high performing German automotive market, we are constantly expanding our markets also internationally


Dr. Wolfgang Hackenberg (CEO)

Dr. Lennart Bochmann (CPO)

Tobias Gagern (CTO)


Reference Customers

VW, Connox

E-Mail Contact

Today it is our pleasure to interview Yanwen Chen & Quirino Zagarese, both co-founders of PHINXT.

Great to have you, Yanwen & Quirino. For a start, could you give us a biref desctipiton of your company PHINXT?


PHINXT Robotics enables warehouses of any size to deploy autonomous robots as needed, with no expertise required. Thanks to our patented decentralised edge computing technology, we can ensure unprecedented levels of reliability whilst enabling ultra-simplified deployments that require minimal IT infrastructure costs.

This will allow small and medium sized warehouses – 90% of the market – to adopt robotics easily and compete with larger logistics companies, by leveraging the flexibility to scale the number of robots up and down as needed. In addition, PHINXT can provide interoperability between any type of robot and enable the implementation of fully autonomous ecosystems.


Tell us a little bit about yourselfes, the minds behind that concept?

Yanwen, founder and CEO,  has two Ph.Ds in Computer Science and years of research focused on the creation of mathematical and logic models for cyber-physical systems and large-scale robotics synchronisation. On top of that, she brings a decade of  experience in the industry, both as a technical contributor and as a leader. She designed and patented a technology, along with the underlying mathematical model, that enables decentralised traffic management for robotic fleets and self-driving vehicles.

Thanks to her technology, robots do not rely on a central server and this allows for unprecedented levels of resilience and ease of management, which are the key aspects for robotics mass adoption. 

Yanwen knows how to leverage her understanding of both western and eastern cultures and she already built long lasting partnerships with top Chinese robotic manufacturers.

Quirino, founder and CTO,  has a Ph.D. in Software Engineering for Ultra Large Scale Systems and more than a decade in professional software development and leadership. His continuous focus on scalability allows him to design systems, products, operational and organisational models that can grow quickly, while delivering value at each stage. He launched several global products that are currently used by businesses like Lego, Epic Games, Sony PlayStation, Meta and many others. 

His research background makes him comfortable with designing new IP and he invented several patents. 

He is experienced in bootstrapping small focused teams and then scale them to entire engineering departments that remain cohesive and agile.

Quirino knows when to deep dive into coding to set the path for the team and when to step back to support the team and product growth.


Impressive backgrounds for the solution for sure! Let’s go to the basics: which problem does PHINXT solve for its customers?


PHINXT makes robotics accessible to organisations of any size by simplifying the deployment and providing solutions that are financially viable at any scale.


There are a few software providers in the market that build products around robot deployment and control. How would you describe your technological USP in one sentence?


PHINXT moves 90% of the computation to the cloud without compromising on system reliability.


 …and who are the customers for that?


Our target customers include third party logistics companies(3PLs), eCommerce and manufacturing companies. We focus on small-medium size companies to help them automate their warehouses without worrying about large upfront costs and deployment complexity.


Introducing robots comes not only with challenges in technical integration of the solution but often also requires new processes and a new design of workflows inside the warehouse. Can you describe how you tackle both and how an onboarding process with a customer of yours would ideally look like?


We firstly identify the main customer goals in terms of fulfilment throughput and storage density. We then turn a floorplan into a 3D simulation using proprietary technology and verify whether those requirements are achievable without compromising reliability. We then work out the API integration with the WMS. Our APIs are WMS agnostic and easy to integrate with.


Warehouse operations today are still very dependent on the human workforce. We see human workers executing all kinds of tasks. How will that change in the coming years? Will robots take over completely inside a warehouse or do you rather see synergetic models? If the latter, which tasks will not be carried out by robots and why?


From a technical perspective, the potential to replace 95% of tasks is definitely there. In our perspective, it is more a matter of financial viability and the scale that is required to achieve it. Giants will try to go for complete automation. We believe in a logistics model where many small players contribute to a more resilient, decentralised network, as opposed to a centralised one that is dominated by Amazon and few others. In such a decentralised model, humans are still central and we believe that the quality of work conditions is going to improve considerably.


There are many warehouse operators and owners that have not started their automation journey, yet. The various options out there can be overwhelming sometimes and returns on investment are hard to calculate. What would be your advice for those who are just exploring their options or have not even started that?


If they are running a large warehouse (>20K sqm) and are planning to invest not less than £1M, the best option is to look for a consulting firm that will guide them through the entire design and implementation process. If they are looking for a smaller, more gradual, investment, in the past they would have most likely been on their own, as current incumbents do not have technology that allows them to be profitable on small-medium scale projects. These companies are the ones who can really benefit from talking to us.


Thank you both for the insightful answers and perspectives. Any last message for our readers?


In the logistics industry, there is a common and justifiable belief that robotics automation is expensive and that it is only for large operators. We believe that this should be something of the past and that any organisation should be able to benefit from the advantages that robotics automation has to offer. If you are operating small-medium warehouses and held back from considering robotics because of the large upfront costs and unpredictable ROI, we want you to know that things have changed and that we are here to help. 


You cannot wait to learn more about the future of Supply Chain? Check out our SCM Startups Handbook 2022 where you will discover hundreds of innovative supply chain solutions.

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